kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

Berkeley Show Raises Awareness Of Apple’s Chinese Labor Practices

View Comments
Renowned performer Mike Daisey traveled to China to research The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and took this photo of a worker at an electronics factory in Shenzhen. (Mike Daisey)

Renowned performer Mike Daisey traveled to China to research The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, and took this photo of a worker at an electronics factory in Shenzhen. (Mike Daisey)

Sovern Nation
Read More

BERKELEY (KCBS) – A one-man show at the Berkeley Reportory Theater paints a less than pretty picture of the origins behind some of our favorite Apple products.

Storyteller Mike Daisey explores this issue in a social commentary and one-man show, called “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” playing at the Berkeley Repertory Theater.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Daisey, the award-winning, critically acclaimed theatrical storyteller, decided to go to Shenzhen, China, to find out for himself who really makes his beloved laptop, and iPhone, and iPad and how they live and work.

No one worshiped more at the altar of Steve Jobs than the monologist himself, but Daisey’s obsession with “i” everything, has been ruined forever.

“I can’t enjoy it the way I used to enjoy it,” realized Daisey.

Apple said its chief operating officer went to China to make sure the company that produces many of its devices stops using child labor and takes steps to reduce worker suicide.

The Cupertino company added that its Chinese partner has agreed to improve conditions.

But for Daisey the damage was already done and the images he saw have left a lasting impression.

“I was terrified the whole time. Pretty much from the moment I entered China until I left,” said Daisey in a devastated tone.

“I didn’t expect the massive unilateral mechanization of the workforce. I don’t think I anticipated the scale that millions of workers are being treated as machines and worn down until their joints do not function and then thrown away. I didn’t expect the widespread use of child labor,” he said.

Daisey said he wants to raise awareness, but since most of America’s electronic components are made there, he doesn’t expect us all to boycott Apple, or any other computer company.

Steve Jobs has been responding to complaints from those who have seen the show.

“His reaction was, ‘I don’t think Mike appreciates the complexity of the situation’,” said Daisey.

Daisey’s run at the Berkeley Repertory Theater ends February 27th.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53,931 other followers